East Europe currently 'extremely unstable' due to US, allies: Shoigu
Russia's Defense Minister warns that Washington and its allies are creating "hotbeds" on the borders of CSTO members.
Ongoing weapon deliveries to Ukraine by the West will result in further escalation that will lead to prolonging the conflict, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Thursday.
Shoigu added that the Eastern European region is witnessing the "tensest situation today."
"The West is insisting that the Kiev regime show tactical successes and a readiness to fight ‘to the last Ukrainian,’ pumping it with weapons with no regard for losses. Military and technical aid to Kiev has already exceeded $65 billion," he said at a meeting in Minsk of the Council of Defense Ministers under the Collective Security Treaty Organization CSTO.
Shoigu had arrived in Minsk earlier in the day to attend a meeting of the CSTO at the level of defense ministers.
"More than 2,500 foreign mercenaries are implicated in punitive actions and combat operations," the Defense Minister said. "Terrorist methods of fighting are being employed, including sabotage and high-profile assassinations."
Read more: Russian MoD announces 9 international drills in 2023
Shoigu pointed out that Washington and its allies are resorting to "destructive measures" to create "hotbeds of tension" in the vicinity of CSTO countries, stressing that this is leading to a negative impact.
"I largely agree with the assessments of the military-political situation in the CSTO regions that have been voiced today," he told the attendees. "The situation remains extremely unstable, thus requiring our close attention and constant monitoring."
The West is waging an undeclared war against Russia and Belarus, and NATO's activities have the most aggressive direction, he said.
"[They are] provoking crises and conflicts, aiding and abetting terrorist and extremist networks, and employing all kinds of sanctions, threats, and blackmail."
Earlier today, Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin and Shoigu signed documents outlining Russia's non-strategic nuclear weapons maintenance routine.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin announced in late March that Russian tactical nuclear weapons would be placed in Belarus, with the storage sites for weapons expected to be finished by July 1.
The Russian leader stated that this move will be similar to the United States' deployment of some of its nuclear arsenal in Europe, adding that Moscow's measures do not violate the nuclear nonproliferation agreements (NPT).
However, Putin stressed then that Minsk would not be given control of any nuclear weapons stationed there.
Read more: Nuclear shield main guarantee of Russia’s sovereignty: Shoigu